Commentary: SC Student Case Is Egregious, but School Discipline Policies Need More Scrutiny

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The video is shocking and horrifying. Whatever the student did to earn the attention of a police officer, whatever disdain she showed – and even if, as some alleged, she punched the officer – the handling of the matter by forcefully grabbing the student, tossing her out of the chair and dragging her across the classroom was out of bounds. It was dangerous and it opens up a whole new discussion to the discourse on police-community interactions.

Give Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott some credit – while his press conference meandered between defending the officer and disgust, he did the right thing, he did it quickly and he did it publicly.

According to published reports, Sheriff Lott said that the teacher and administrator present during the incident said they appreciated Deputy Ben Fields’ quick response. The student was allegedly disturbing the class, talking on her cell phone and refusing to cooperate with the teacher.

However, Sheriff Lott said, “Even though she was wrong for disturbing the class, even though she refused to abide by the directions of the teacher, the school administrator and also the verbal commands of our deputy, I’m looking at what our deputy did.”

“He was wrong in his actions and it was not what I expect of my deputies,” Lott said. “Deputy Fields did not follow proper training or procedures when he threw the student across the room. It continues to upset me that he picked the student up and threw her.”

People will obviously continue to debate the racial aspect of this – the officer was white, the student was a black female. Would the deputy have thrown a white student like that? Is there a class component – would the deputy have acted this way at an affluent school?

The reason these racial questions keep popping is that these incidents continue to draw them out.

But what is also interesting is that the student apparently is facing charges “for disrupting the class, a commotion that prevented other students from learning and the teacher from performing his job.”

“She is responsible for initiating this action,” Sheriff Lott said. “Some responsibility falls on her. The action of our deputy, we take responsibility for that. What she did doesn’t justify what our deputy did. But she needs to be held responsible for what she did.”

Sheriff Lott said that “he fired Fields in person and spoke to him about the incident.”

Mr. Fields reportedly expressed remorse.

“He’s sorry that this whole thing occurred, it was not his intention,” Sheriff Lott said. “He tried to do his job and that’s what he feels like he did. It happened very quickly and his actions were something that if he probably had to do over again he’d do it differently.”

Perhaps so, but his conduct was so over-the-top and egregious, that it is hard to defend.

Under South Carolina law, it is a misdemeanor offense to “willfully or unnecessarily … interfere with or to disturb in any way” students and teachers in school, or “to act in an obnoxious manner” in a school.

According to the Washington Post article, “Those charged with disturbing schools face a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine or 90 days in a county jail. Family courts handle such cases if the accused is a minor. Disturbing schools is the third-most common charge in cases referred to the state’s Department of Juvenile Justice, just behind assault and battery and shoplifting, according to 2014 department data.”

Is this how we want to try to discipline our students to behave in school? Through arrest?

The New York Times yesterday reported on a backdrop to this story. They report that “national studies showing that black students were far more likely than whites to be disciplined in public schools, even for comparable offenses.” In Davis we have often talked about the achievement gap, but we also have a suspension gap which has led the district to revise a lot of their rules for suspensions (see December 2014 article and August 2015 article).

The NY Times reports that this issue was under scrutiny in Richland County long before the incident occurred. Last year, the district formed a task force in order to examine its practices.

The racial divide in the Richland School District led to the formation of the Black Parents Association and a bitter campaign to control the school board.

The Times reports, “In Richland Two, where 59 percent of students are black and 26 percent are white, 77 percent of those suspended at least once in 2011-12 were black, according to figures compiled by the Justice Department, though details to allow a comparison of the offenses were not readily available. And South Carolina relies much more on suspension than the nation as a whole; 24 percent of public school students in the state were suspended at least once that year, compared with 13 percent nationwide.”

The Times adds, “Black parents have complained that school discipline is arbitrary and disproportionately affects black students, said Stephen Gilchrist, a founder of Richland Two Black Parents Association. The group was formed in early 2014 to address such concerns and to increase black representation among the school district’s leadership.”

While this incident figures to draw focus once again on police misconduct, we should be looking more closely at the discipline gap and how better to handle disobedient students other than to try to criminalize that behavior.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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122 thoughts on “Commentary: SC Student Case Is Egregious, but School Discipline Policies Need More Scrutiny”

  1. Barack Palin

    The reason these racial questions keep popping is that these incidents continue to draw them out.

    No, the reason these racial questions keep popping up is because the left wing press and race baiters continue to draw them out.  For instance, you chose to write about this S.C. story where there’s also another recent S.C. story about a white kid that got killed by a cop for trying to flee a marijuana arrest who was out on his first date.  Not a peep heard, why because the kid was white?

    http://www.cbs19.tv/story/30364787/officer-who-shot-unarmed-sc-teen-wont-be-charged

     

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Sorry, but I just think every time you can’t defend the actions of the police, you try to change the subject.

      I think the other story is important too, but this case for me brings up the issue of school discipline gap which I think has been underreported in this debate. I do agree on one point, and it’s the point I made with respect to the officer-involved death here, there are police issues that need to be scrutinized independent of race. But this particular school had a clear and brewing racial divide and the school discipline system has a huge racial divide even when controlling for types of incidents and again, you don’t want to discuss these issues, you want to deflect every time they come up.

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      BP, spot on. This is also part of the cameras everywhere technology explosion. Before, maybe he gets suspended or fired, maybe he doesn’t.

      This is also a continuation of the Black Lives Matter agenda.

      1. Davis Progressive

        a few years ago this story wouldn’t have been a blip on the radar.  without a video camera in la, no one would have believed rodney king.  you act like that’s a bad thing?

        you have this statement reversed, blm emerged out of people sick of these police incidents and no one paying attention.  these types of incidents happen all the time, but the only time we know about it is when it ends up on youtube.  the problem is now, unlike in 1990, everyone has a video camera and if you watch some of the angles, the kids were sophisticated enough to keep their phones low so as not to be detected.  this isn’t going away so you may as well fix it and clean it up

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          BLM has lost any legitimacy it ever had by often backing criminals and repeatedly attacking police. There has been a jump in violent crime in major cities, many think in response to the Al Sharpton – Eric Holder crowd. The BLM crowd marches and says “pigs in a blanket” – making them look more like the Black Panther Party. Even the FBI has made recent comments regarding the aftermath.

          Actually, crime and deaths in many urban cities had dropped by 50%+ in many instances. Look at the huge success of Stop and Frisk in New York, which has saved thousands of black lives. But Barack Obama wants (and has) to released major crack dealers from prison.

          What the liberal media (which was on full display last night with their slanted, arrogant questions at CNBC) does is ignore similar tapes showing crime against white and other individuals.

          BLM has lost credibility across America except for liberal bastions like Davis.

        2. Davis Progressive

          actually blm is irrelevant because the mainstream of america is taking up the issue.  there are real reform initiatives underway coming from congress, the doj, local police agencies, police chiefs, the state of california, etc.

  2. Barack Palin

    Is this how we want to try to discipline our students to behave in school? Through arrest.

    Yes, if that’s what it takes.  When a student gets so belligerent and is effecting other student’s learning something has to be done.  Yes, the cop in the video over-reacted but at the same time the student was being over the top hostile.  Is this an effect of the black lives matter movement where we now have blacks being belligerent to anything police related?

      1. Tia Will

        BP

        The black student who flipped the Sacramento Florin High School principal on Wednesday was arrested.  Should we not have arrested him?”

        Physical assault is physical assault. Of course he should have been arrested. What exactly are you trying to say with this post ?  Your juxtaposition of these two cases has nothing at all to do with race. Do you believe that a police officer should get a pass just because he wears the uniform ?  These are certainly not comparable cases in any way since the principle was trying to stop a physical fight while the student was merely being obnoxious and disruptive. No difference at all in these circumstances in your mind ?

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “Yes, if that’s what it takes. When a student gets so belligerent and is effecting other student’s learning something has to be done. ”

      Agreed, but the question is what that something is and research shows that putting people into the legal system early actually works against helping them.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        But the schools are often either lawless or over-react, and many are female dominated so that there are fewer physically strong male role models and disciplinarians to keep the young men in line.

        I spoke with someone about this recently where an LAUSD elementary school teacher was told to call 911 when a student was tapping the glass in an attempt to break the window.

  3. Tia Will

    I have watched the tapes of both of the incidents being referenced. It seems to me is that we have a Venn diagram situation. We have a set of cases in which excessive force is claimed when the races of the police and the citizen are the same. We have a set of cases in which excessive force is claimed when the races of the police and the citizen are different. Both deserve to be in the public awareness. Both are worthy of societal action.

    Is it any wonder that those in the minority would emphasize those incidents where the color of skin seems to be a predominant factor given the long, long history of racial discrimination in multiple forms in this country. Would this not be true even if the “liberal press” never said a word about these incidents ?

    Is it any wonder that a set of the white majority, who perceive themselves as completely unaffected, would downplay the effects of these actions on others simply because they do not see it in their own lives ?  Would this not also be true even if the “conservative press” never said a word about it ?

    I am baffled about how some in our posting community seem unable to appreciate that both the issues of racial/gender/economic/religious disparity still exist in our society…. and that the issue of use of excessive police force still exists in our society, and that sometimes these two issues happen to overlap.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      We also have a long, long history or bedlam in inner city schools that goes back decades.

      You assume we don’t see it ourselves, when in fact there is a lot of black-on-white abuse and crime. I also know numerous individuals who have been the victim of crime committed by black individuals who simply never filed a police report. (I met one hipster who was jumped outside of the projects on 16th and Mission in San Francisco who was busy moving to another city, and knew they would never catch the three perps.) Don’t forget the Knockout Game.

      1. Davis Progressive

        you always talk about this kind of stuff, but it’s pretty clear to me, you don’t really know what’s going on, you’re just repeating stuff you read on the net.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          That’s what you write when you have no response to facts. I’ve volunteered at SFUSD, I’ve worked in South Central LA.

          Did you read that roughly 95% of students in Detroit aren’t proficient in math or English? Six decades of liberalism and that is the result.

        2. Davis Progressive

          “That’s what you write when you have no response to facts. I’ve volunteered at SFUSD, I’ve worked in South Central LA.”

          you haven’t posted any facts, you keep trying to shift the discussion away from the incident at hand and the issues surrounding it.  what does it mean that you volunteered at sjusd and worked in south central?  when?  in what capacity?  where exactly?

  4. Tia Will

    BP

    Yes, the cop in the video over-reacted but at the same time the student was being over the top hostile.  Is this an effect of the black lives matter movement where we now have blacks being belligerent to anything police related?”

    NO. Kids of all colors acting out in school far precedes the “black lives matter movement”by decades. I remember clearly a white kid being extracted from a class by the then equivalent of the safety officer for being obnoxious and disruptive in one of my high school classes in the late 1960’s.

    What you are not appreciating here is the age and responsibility disparity of the participants in this conflict. I believe strongly that one of the most important responsibilities of any authority figure in our schools is to model appropriate behavior for the students whose job it is to learn. A student disrupting a class is clearly inappropriate behavior, and this young women needs to learn this. The lesson that she doubtless learned in this situation is that the authority figure believes that he has the right to throw her across a room and drag her out. This is the classic “might makes right” lesson. This is certainly not the lesson that I want any student to learn from those in authority.

    1. Barack Palin

      Right, she acts belligerent and feels she doesn’t have to obey any authority and what will be her lesson?  She will end up lawyering up and getting a huge settlement and be set the rest of her life.  So the lesson learned was what?

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        “So the lesson learned was what?”

        Don’t react to belligerent students by throwing them out of their desk and dragging them across the room.

        1. Barack Palin

          No, that’s the lesson learned by the police and the school administration.  What’s the lesson learned by the belligerent student?  Act up and you’re set for life?  Expect to see more of this with black students feigning authority because they now feel empowered due to black lives matter, the liberal press, the president and the race baiters.

        2. Davis Progressive

          bp – what was the lesson that rodney king learned?  nothing, he kept his behavior problems until his death.  so the lesson is really for us – if we want the systemto teach lessons, we can’t do it if the authorities commit misconduct.

      2. Tia Will

        BP

        She will end up lawyering up and getting a huge settlement and be set the rest of her life.  So the lesson learned was what?”

        If you are correct, this would all have been completely preventable by the police officer acting in a responsible manner without excessive use of force. Do you believe that his only course of action was to throw her out of her seat and drag her from the room ?

        1. Barack Palin

          Have you actually read my posts?  I already stated that the police officer over-reacted.  He let a belligerent student get the best of him.  He lost his job over it and is now the subject of both an FBI and DOJ investigation.  Why isn’t the cop who shot the white kid in S.C. also being investigated by the Feds?  After all, he is dead, this student isn’t.  Why, because he was white?

        2. Davis Progressive

          you raise a good point however when you ask why the cop who shot the white kid in sc isn’t having an fbi investigation and to me that comes down to the fact that there is no uniform policy for handling officer involved shootings.  why not?  in part because the cops unions prevent them.  why don’t we have automatic investigations for every officer involved shooting from either the state ag’s office or the us doj?  we should.  most are routine and would be closed quickly.

        3. zaqzaq

          It was preventable if the black principle was capable of managing the students in his school without having to resort to the police to do his dirty work.  He was present prior to the arrival of the officer in question.  Why didn’t he do his job and remove the student from the classroom?  He should also be fired for not managing his school and having to resort to the use of force via the police officer.  Thoughts?

      3. TrueBlueDevil

        He was fired, so despite his reportedly clean record and his prejudice-free mindset (he reportedly has a long-term black girlfriend), he screwed up.

        1. Davis Progressive

          that doesn’t mean he had a prejudice free mindset, he has a pending complaint that he called two students the n-word.  he didn’t just screw up, he completely lost his composure and violated about every use of force doctrine you can imagine.

  5. Tia Will

    BP

    Expect to see more of this with black students feigning authority because they now feel empowered due to black lives matter, the liberal press, the president and the race baiters.”

    I noticed that you have completely ignored my comment about school disruption on the part of students of all colors having long preceded the “Black Lives Matter” movement. No thoughts on that issue ? No thoughts about the general tendency of high school aged students to press the boundaries of authority ? It would seem to me that it is you that is painting this as a completely racial issue instead of a disparity issue.

    1. Barack Palin

      It would seem to me that it is you that is painting this as a completely racial issue instead of a disparity issue.

      No, not me at all.  It’s you and David who are painting it as a racial issue.  Why can’t this just be a belligerent student who was roughed up by an over-reacting cop?  Why does her race have to enter into it?  I pointed out the other S.C. incident to show that the Vanguard didn’t report on that because it wasn’t racial.

      1. Davis Progressive

        but you’re ignoring the whole second part of the article.  the racial strife at the school.  the huge discrepancy in suspensions for black and white students at that district.  the national research that has shown a punishment discrepancy by race.  you said your wife is a teacher, how many times has your wife called the police because of a student?

        1. Barack Palin

          Never once, but she teaches preschool and 2 to 5 year olds aren’t the same threat that teenagers can be as evidenced by the slamming of the Sacramento principal..  I will tell you this, over the many years she has taught she had on avg. the most discipline problems from black children.  It’s just the facts, I think it spawns from the breakdown of the black family and the children not getting the proper discipline at home due to broken families, etc.

        2. Davis Progressive

          if you look at the article wdf posted there seems to be an over-discipline problem in preschool as well.  i’m just of the mindset that reserving the police for actual crimes and allow schools to find better ways to discipline students like through restorative approaches some of which we are implementing here.

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          A family member was recently told to call 911 instead of confronting a problem student in elementary school. I think we need an affirmative action program to get more male role models in schools.

          Moons ago I had a friend who was a teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District, and she too had the most problems from her young black children, specifically boys. They had a consent decree to prohibit any other black boys from being punished or disciplined because of such logic. One year it was one boy who was particularly disruptive, and he would “set off” two others. When he was out, she was actually able to teach the full class.

          This teacher eventually transferred to a predominantly Chinese school and is thrilled with the discipline and desire to learn demonstrated every day by the students and parents.

  6. wdf1

    So this is a problem that some folks are just imagining?

    This American Life, Is This Working? podcast.  First part is a narrative of an African American mother who relates her experience with seeing her kids through preschool suspensions.

    Black preschoolers more likely to face suspension

    Black children represent about 18 percent of children in preschool programs in schools, but they make up almost half of the preschoolers suspended more than once, the report said. Six percent of the nation’s districts with preschools reported suspending at least one preschool child.
    ….
    Overall, the data show that black students of all ages are suspended and expelled at a rate that’s three times higher than that of white children. Even as boys receive more than two-thirds of suspensions, black girls are suspended at higher rates than girls of any other race or most boys.
    ….
    Nationally, 1 million children were served in public preschool programs, with about 60 percent of districts offering preschool during the 2011-2012 school year, according to the data. The data show nearly 5,000 preschoolers were suspended once. At least 2,500 were suspended more than once.

    Hispanic children made up nearly one-third of all preschoolers, but they made up 25 percent of the preschoolers suspended once and 20 percent of preschoolers suspended more than once.

    1. MrsW

      After my nephew was suspended for a day in Kindergarten and my sister-in-law felt his race was a factor, she pulled him out of public school and home schooled him.  He’s in college studying to be an aeronautical engineer now.

  7. Anon

    In this particular incident, I do not see any evidence of a racial component, other than the girl was black and the officer was white.  My guess is the exact same scenario would have played out regardless of the race of either party.  The officer in question had a track record of being accused of excessive use of force, though nothing ever quite “stuck”.  https://boingboing.net/2015/10/27/cop-filmed-throwing-schoolgirl.html

    Secondly, I can tell you from personal experience as a former 8th grade teacher that difficult students are very hard to deal with.  Some of them will grow up to be hardened criminals (one of my difficult students was caught carrying a stolen TV over his head down the middle of a freeway). It only takes one belligerent student to disrupt an entire class, and stop the learning process altogether.

    Thirdly, the officer was fired because he did not follow proper police procedure for dealing with a recalcitrant student, period.  The student in this case was totally in the wrong, but ultimately she is a child, and as such must be handled differently than an adult.

    The Richland County Sheriff handled this situation in the most professional way possible.  He thanked students for providing video footage and verbal testimony of the incident.  Even students agreed the troublemaker needed to be ejected from the room.  The Sheriff then immediately called in the FBI to do an investigation, as an objective third party.  He correctly placed blame on the girl for having acted in an unacceptable manner, but he ultimately fired the police officer for not following proper procedure for handling school students.  He made it clear he holds his officers to a high standard of conduct, and expects them to adhere to it.

    1. Davis Progressive

      there are a few problems with the comment…

      1.  would the police have been called in the first place for a white girl acting in the same way?  it’s a hard question to answer but the statistics on school discipline at that school have to at least raise that question.

      2.  would the police officer have handled the situation the same way?  i could see both ways on this, but this officer does have a complaint that he referred to two black students by the n-word.  of course his sheriff was quick to point out he’s dating a black woman.  but that falls into the “some of my best friends are black” excuse which ignores a huge mess of sociology research that suggests that out-groups familiar members are treated differently from out-groups strangers.  there’s also the unconscious bias issue that the defense doesn’t touch.

      bottom line is that i think the vanguard piece points us to a problem that everyone here is ignoring and i personally experienced as a father of a mixed raced daughter here in davis and that is differential treatment in schools by race.

      1. Barack Palin

        How about we just deal with the facts and what did happen instead of your ‘what would of happened if’ and implicit bias scenarios.

        So the cop is dating a black woman?  I doubt very many white racists are dating black women.

         

         

        1. Davis Progressive

          what happened is a white cop violently threw a child down to the ground in her desk – understanding why seems important.  unconscious bias is not the same as racism.

        2. Davis Progressive

          because the racial divisions at this school were so bad that a group of parents formed “Black Parents Association” – and because “Richland Two, where 59 percent of students are black and 26 percent are white, 77 percent of those suspended at least once in 2011-12 were black” and if you read the times articles, that understates the problem because many of the students were suspended multiple times.

        3. Frankly

          It never ceases to amaze me how you race-focused people will use downstream statistics to make absolute claims of upstream racism cause without consideration of the myriad of other potential contributing factors.

          59% of the students are black and 77% of the suspensions were for blacks.

          First, the difference is not alarming.

          Second, I am sure that the majority of teachers and administrators at the school are black.

          Third, what is the family and economic situation of the black versus white students.  I am guessing that the black students are more likely to be from poor single-parent families where the father is missing.   Which would then support a theory of lack of discipline in the house that would then carry over to the schools.

          There are a lot of criteria to consider other than “the system is racist”… yet that is where you go every time.

        4. wdf1

          Frankly:  Second, I am sure that the majority of teachers and administrators at the school are black.

          You are???  What makes you so sure?  Can’t find info about Spring Valley HS, but this data table from 2011-12 suggests that the odds are you’re wrong.  But I would be delighted for you to prove otherwise.

        5. TrueBlueDevil

          Violence in the black family is disproportional, why do you expect children from troubled homes to come to school and act like angels?

          Time: Why Black Women Struggle More With Domestic Violence

          “And for Black women, it’s an even bigger problem: Black women are almost three times as likely to experience death as a result of DV/IPV than White women. And while Black women only make up 8% of the population, 22% of homicides that result from DV/IPV happen to Black Women and 29% of all victimized women, making it one of the leading causes of death for Black women ages 15 to 35. Statistically, we experience sexual assault and DV/IPV at disproportionate rates and have the highest rates of intra-racial violence against us than any other group. We are also less likely to report or seek help when we are victimized.”

          http://time.com/3313343/ray-rice-black-women-domestic-violence/

           

        6. Frankly

          a 35 to 40 percent discrepancy isn’t alarming?

          are you using “progressive” math?

          Let’s say your math is correct, how do you know that there is 30-40% more bad behavior from the 59% of the black students than there is from the 26% white students?

          Or maybe there is 50% more bad behavior from the population of black students, but the school officials show restraint.

      2. hpierce

        What if evidence shows it was “sexist”, not racial?  An ‘uppity’ young female, challenging male “authority”/ “supremacy”?  Would explain that if he had a ‘compliant’ girlfriend, this action isn’t about race at all…  the cop is a jerk, and so is the young “lady’.  ’nuff said.

        1. Barack Palin

          why is everyone trying to cut off the issue at the instant-offense rather than exploring the possibility that there are deeper problems?

          Because some of us don’t put race and implicit bias into every situation.  Try it sometime, it might be a breath of fresh air for you.

        2. hpierce

          OK, DP: Please enumerate the deeper problem(s), and if you can, suggest solutions.  Although I may have done so clumsily, I was pointing out that the “problem(s)” in this case are likely not mainly/only “race”.

          The events are NOT Ok… the root/contributory causes unclear,  the ‘solutions’ more so.

          So DP, in all your omnicience, what are the causes and what are your concrete solutions?

        3. Davis Progressive

          hpierece: you have a school with a huge racial divide, you have disproportionate enforcement by the police, and an overuse of a nussance law, it seems that this situation screams racial factor.

        4. TrueBlueDevil

          Last I read, Japanese- and Jewish-Americans are underrepresented in the crime statistics, have they paid someone off, or is it just possible that intact families, with Fathers, discipline, love, care and nurturing, have children with fewer problems?

  8. Frankly

    From our first black President’s own FBI director:

    “Most of America’s 50 largest cities have seen an increase in homicides and shootings this year, and many of them have seen a huge increase. These are cities with little in common except being American cities—places like Chicago, Tampa, Minneapolis, Sacramento, Orlando, Cleveland, and Dallas.

    In Washington, D.C., we’ve seen an increase in homicides of more than 20% in neighborhoods across the city. Baltimore, a city of 600,000 souls, is averaging more than one homicide a day—a rate higher than that of New York City, which has 13 times the people. Milwaukee’s murder rate has nearly doubled over the past year.

    And who’s dying? Police chiefs say the increase is almost entirely among young men of color, at crime scenes in bad neighborhoods where multiple guns are being recovered.”

    Black Lives Matter is a political season stunt of the never-stop-campaigning Democrats and their liberal media puppets straight out of the Rules for Radicals playbook.  It is intended to deflect from the truth that the policies of the Democrats under our first black President have worsened rather than improved the lives of blacks.  Cops are their politically-convenient scapegoats.

    But the police are somewhat responsible for this.  Throughout the nation the police union has traditionally helped fund the campaigns of Democrats that would reward the police union with greater pay and benefits.  Police then have made a deal with the devil and the devil is back extracting his payment.

    The only unexplained trend is why so many educated and intelligent blacks cannot see the truth.

    Once the real stats come in proving that the left and left media attacks on law enforcement have led to more crime and more black death, the cops will again be blamed for not doing their job.

    Liberals will never admit they are wrong… in fact, they fear that more than death itself and their fight or flight DNA kicks in when faced with that realization.

    But blacks will pay the price… again.

    One has to wonder if this young lady’s behavior was in fact a direct result of a lack of respect for law enforcement that derived from the Black Lives Matter political and media promotion.

    1. Tia Will

      Frankly

      Throughout the nation the police union has traditionally helped fund the campaigns of Democrats that would reward the police union with greater pay and benefits.  Police then have made a deal with the devil and the devil is back extracting his payment.”

      That doesn’t seem to have been a major problem here in Davis, does it ?

      One has to wonder if this young lady’s behavior was in fact a direct result of a lack of respect for law enforcement that derived from the Black Lives Matter political and media promotion.”

      I don’t have to wonder about that. As I stated previously, I witnessed a forcible ( although not this much force) extraction of a white student by a school safety officer while I was in high school, many, many years prior to any thought of a “Black Lives Matter” campaign. This type of comment is precisely why I feel that it is not just the liberals that play the “race card”.

    2. hpierce

      Uh, Frankly, you realize that we still haven’t had our first “Black” president, right?  Obama’s mom is “white”.  He may be the first to have any “african blood” in his DNA, but that might be open to verification.  Ben Carson might well qualify as our first “black” president.  Is this about race or politics? Or, the actual topic?

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Good point HP. The Left can’t even swallow that the most diverse presidential lineup in history is offered by the GOP – 2 Latinos, 1 bi-cultural Latino (Bush), 1 Indian-American, an African American, and a woman.

        1. Davis Progressive

          we can swallow it, we just can’t stomach their politics.  also the diverse line up is not reflective of their voters (heavy majority white, majority male). there’s a word for that, it’s called window dressing. disagree? find me a non-white electorate that went more than 30 percent for the gop?

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          If the voters choose not to be diverse, that is their choice to vote for the party of Big Government and Big Debt. There was an interesting contrast in the debates… the Democrats promising new spoils – with no explanation for how they would pay for them, few tough questions, and few addressing how we would pay for our huge current obligations and problems, while the GOP did offer different proposals and solutions.

          Yes, I disagree. Over 50% non-white male is not “window dressing”.

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          DP, African Americans choose to leave the party of Lincoln for various reasons. My understanding is that only Jewish- and African-Americans vote so solidly progressive, but maybe that is changing with the new handout mentality. The GOP will take votes from any ethnic group, and their lineup currently is very diverse, in contrast to the lilly white Dems… if that is the game you chose to play.

      2. Frankly

        Obama himself has made the point that he is the first black President.  His election as a national celebration of the US electing its first black president.

        I get your point, but where do we draw the line?  Is Tiger Woods a black man?

  9. Scheney

    I have long been concerned about the presence of police on school campuses, because of the use of them as thugs to enforce school rules.  A refusal to follow school rules is not a criminal offense, yet police are asked to respond as if they were.  Davis has “resource officers” that are hired by the District.  Every so often there is a discussion about having police officers serve in these roles.  I oppose this every time it comes up.  There is no reason that we should pay to have a police officer on campus full time looking for things to do.  There is no reason that an officer cannot be assigned to respond to the school to deal with true criminal matters.

    I watched the SC video. I notice that the girl is sitting at a desk with no materials on the desk – not a book, not a pencil in hand.  She is definitely not there to learn.  Bored, she pulled out her phone, which is against the rules.  The teacher then addresses the infraction by demanding her phone.  She refuses and it goes from there, until a police officer comes in and physically assaults her (that is what he did).  That the student’s behavior was unacceptable and unsuitable to the classroom learning environment does not in any way deserve the police response.  However, there is an underlying issue of the learning environment.  If she was white, would the teacher have put up with the student’s behavior of coming to class and sitting there disengaged? Or is this an expectation of his concerning black students, so he or the school administration does nothing?  As long as the student’s body is parked in a classroom and not actively disturbing the class, there is no need to respond.

    This is my concern re: school discipline.  That situations are allowed to linger until it reaches a point where the student does something to allow the administration to suspend or expel the student.

      1. Davis Progressive

        (shakes head).  you clearly don’t understand what affirmative action is.  what you’re talking about is recruiting more men to teach – that’s not affirmative action, that’s called recruiting.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Both. There is a vast under-representation of men in schools, which must mean that we have a huge legal case for large-scale sexism. Given the under-representation is the sole factor considered.

        2. Davis Progressive

          you’re failing differentiate between the difference between a dearth of applicants versus a dearth of hiring applicants.  affirmative action attempted to address the latter.  what you’re describing here is the former.

    1. MrsW

      I notice that the girl is sitting at a desk with no materials on the desk – not a book, not a pencil in hand.

      She was “lost” by the educational establishment a long time ago.  The teacher doesn’t have the skills, tools and/or support to reach her and pull her (back?) into the classroom community.

      This is my concern re: school discipline.  That situations are allowed to linger until it reaches a point where the student does something to allow the administration to suspend or expel the student.

      By high school, students are expected to be mature, have self-discipline and at least pretend to be engaged.  But many are not.  Then what?  They are punished for it!  What good is that to anyone?  The child is only there because it is the law.  The teacher is reduced to being an arbitrary rule-enforcer.  That cannot be a rewarding job.  The child/teachers interactions are reduced to disciplinary actions over cell phones, chewing gum and not dressing for PE….  What a waste of everyone’s time.

      Here’s a question.  Is it reasonable to expect the US education establishment to learn how to work with the children we entrust them with?  Maybe some children should cut ties with this educational model at an earlier age.  What would an acceptable alternative model look like?

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        And then we recently had 300,000 California students unable to pass an “exit exam” at the 8th grade level.

        Democrats shelved the exam, and gave the students who didn’t pass their diploma for occupying a chair for 12 years.

        1. MrsW

          …and gave the students who didn’t pass their diploma for occupying a chair for 12 years.

          IDK. It’s not like that student is going to take anyone’s place at a competitive elite university.  Now they have a certificate of achievement.  They were able to endure 13 years of compulsory ???? and not be thrown across the classroom by a policeman or expelled. I think that’s worth acknowledging.

      2. Barack Palin

        She was “lost” by the educational establishment a long time ago.  The teacher doesn’t have the skills, tools and/or support to reach her and pull her (back?) into the classroom community.

        You were able to get all that out of her not having a book or a pencil in front of her?

        They were able to endure 13 years of compulsory ???? and not be thrown across the classroom by a policeman or expelled. I think that’s worth acknowledging.

        Yeah, give them a diploma even though they didn’t want or care to learn anything because if they truly wanted to learn they would have.  Just push them through the system with an unearned diploma.  They’ll get far in life.

  10. Frankly

    I think we need to change the national discussion from “Black Live’s Matter” to “Black Life-Matters”  What are all the matters contributing to the state of black life today, and how do we improve black life tomorrow?

    Attacking law enforcement and security professionals isn’t going to help at all.  It will make it worse.  It is already making it worse.

  11. Tia Will

    Scheney

    I think that you make some very strong points. What I wonder about is what has preceded this episode.

    Is the a first time event for this student?  If so has anyone considered what might have happened in her life to cause a dramatic change in behavior.

    Is this a common event for this student ?  If so, has any outreach been done both to her and her parents to find out what the underlying issues are ? Is she bored because of faulty class placement ? Is she below, at or above grade level for the subject in question ?  Has anyone cared enough to find out ?Has anyone considered that this behavior might be related to substance abuse, or to mental illness ?

    Before we start blaming this on her home life,  or the Black Lives Matter movement, or the media, or liberals, or President Obama, maybe it would be nice to acknowledge that there are many potentially contributing factors and we simply do not know which ones might be in play.

     

  12. Barack Palin

    “White liberals are the most racist people there are, because they put blacks in a box and insist that they think one way- and if they don’t they attack them as illegitimate, all the while denying that their policies destroy blacks.” -Dr. Ben Carson

    Words of wisdom.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Provocative. Do you have a source?

      I know the Left attacks any black conservative that comes along, even a prestigious acclaimed brain surgeon. Uncle Tom is the typical slur, along with others. Dr. Harry Edwards a week ago claimed Dr. Carson was a beneficiary of affirmative action that got him into Yale – even though Carson graduated number three in his class, and had the highest SAT score in Detroit in 20 years.

    2. Tia Will

      White liberals are the most racist people there are, because they put blacks in a box and insist that they think one way”

      Words of stereotyping. From Dr. Carson who is doing exactly what he accuses “white liberals” of doing.

      1. Barack Palin

        I think it would have read better if he had said ‘most white liberals’ but that doesn’t make his statement untrue.

        His words really hit home here in Davis.

         

  13. Tia Will

    Rutherford told the New York Daily News that the teen recently lost her mother and is living in a foster home.”

    This is a statement from State Representative Rutherford providing background information on the female student whose “disruptive behavior” according to classmates consisted of refusing to surrender her cell phone after having momentarily against class rules checked on it in class. And the reason that she did not have any study materials on her desk at the beginning of the tape, again according to a witness was because the officer had removed her computer and placed it on the desk of another student immediately prior to throwing her out of the seat. Interesting the perspective that a little more information can provide.

    1. ryankelly

      This information makes the actions of the teacher, the administrator and especially the police officer inexcusable.  There is no defense for this treatment.

      1. Tia Will

        I had another thought about the role of the teacher in this situation. If the goal were truly to maintain a classroom atmosphere appropriate for learning, what would be the most appropriate way to handle the situation of a student looking at a phone during class ?  It would seem to me that the most appropriate way would be to continue the lesson for the whole class uninterrupted by a conversation about a phone, call the offending student aside at the end of class and request that they not use their phone during class time. No fuss, no disruption, no chance of introducing an unnecessary contentious situation in front of the other students, no waste of class time and in this situation no chance of a violent public confrontation.

        Was the student wrong in breaking a known class rule ?  Absolutely. A clear example of minor adolescent defiance.

        Was extremely poor judgement exercised by the adults in the situation ? Absolutely. Each of the three adults involved had the opportunity to de escalate the situation and yet choose to keep ramping up the hostility.

        1. Barack Palin

          It would seem to me that the most appropriate way would be to continue the lesson for the whole class uninterrupted by a conversation about a phone, call the offending student aside at the end of class and request that they not use their phone during class time. 

          99.99999% of students will simply put their phone down when asked to by the teacher.  How could the teacher have known how belligerent the student was going to be?

        2. zaqzaq

          What about the role of the black principle?  Yeah I am throwing his race in there since the race of the officer and student have drawn so much attention.   Why is he still employed if he cannot manage the students in his school?  Did he originally complement the officer on a job well done as was reported in the media?  If so is he part of the problem?  The officer was sacrificed and his head was delivered on a platter for the public.   Equity calls for the same result for that principal but that will not solve the underlying problem.  This incident should have turned into a training issue for the officer, teacher and school administration (principal) without anyone losing their jobs.  In the past David has called for the use of restorative justice.  How could that be used to resolve this incident?

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            ” How could that be used to resolve this incident?”

            I would recommend you read Discipline That Restores – http://disciplinethatrestores.org/ – which directly addresses classroom discipline and in part is being implemented into local practices.

  14. Tia Will

    TBD

    I know the Left attacks any black conservative that comes along, even a prestigious acclaimed brain surgeon. Uncle Tom is the typical slur, along with others.”

    Your source for anyone having called Dr. Carson by any such derogatory term would be ? Dr. Carson was in my opinion, a brilliant surgeon. He is also singularly unqualified to be President. This has nothing what so ever to do with his race or even his politics, but rather a profound lack of experience.

  15. TrueBlueDevil

    What the officer did was wrong, reprehensible, and shows very poor judgement. Letting him go, and swiftly, was the right move, and he should probably never work again with children.

    The schools should have another way to deal with unruly children, but I’m told some LAUSD principals tell teachers to call 911 when students misbehave. We clearly have children and young adults in schools where reality is wild, and teachers aren’t equipped, not should they be, to be serious mental health professionals or social workers or criminologists. I also think we need more male teachers. The liberals push to keep these wild childs in the classroom, where they will only detract from those who have some desire to learn.

    I don’t see a racial element in this, but crying wolf is standard for the left.

    It’s interesting how blind the Left is to European-American families who frequently have family members who are victims of violent crime by people of color.

     

    1. Tia Will

      TBD

      I also think we need more male teachers”

      This comment is interesting to me on a number of counts.

      1. With regard to this situation, the teacher was a male. How did that help the situation ?

      2. What data do you have to support the idea that gender plays a role in student obedience or lack thereof in a classroom ?  What data do you have that either males or females improve their performance in a situation in which there is a male teacher ?

      3. This comment seems as “sexist” to me as any of the comments by any poster seem “racist” in context. Without your data, I can only assume that it is your unsubstantiated claim that males are either more competent teachers or more competent disciplinarians or both.

      4. What seems to me to be apparent is that we need the best teachers ( best able to connect with and inspire students, best able to impart information in a clear and engaging manner, best able to diversify their approach so that each student’s learning needs and style are met) regardless of race, religion, economic status,  or gender.

      1. Barack Palin

        What seems to me to be apparent is that we need the best teachers ( best able to connect with and inspire students, best able to impart information in a clear and engaging manner, best able to diversify their approach so that each student’s learning needs and style are met) regardless of race, religion, economic status,  or gender.

        I agree and let’s remember that when the Vanguard brings up the the over representation of white teachers and under representation of teachers of color in our school system.

        1. Tia Will

          BP

          let’s remember that when the Vanguard brings up the the over representation of white teachers and under representation of teachers of color in our school system.”

          Superficially, I agree. However, if there were to be data presented that demonstrated that any of the groups that I named did in fact ( as a group) lead to better outcomes for their students then I would need to revise my opinion based on that data.

           

        2. wdf1

          BP: I agree and let’s remember that when the Vanguard brings up the the over representation of white teachers and under representation of teachers of color in our school system.

          Data shows that potentially eligible minority candidates who might opt for a teaching career instead go elsewhere because of working conditions.

          U.S. News & World Report, 9/16/2015:  Wanted: Minority Teachers

          Surprisingly, the most significant impediment to increasing the diversity of the teacher workforce, the report shows, is not difficulty in recruiting and hiring minority teachers. In fact, minority teachers are being hired at a higher proportional rate than other teachers.
          ….
          Instead, the biggest hurdle is attrition: Minority teachers are leaving the profession at a higher rate than other teachers. Their biggest complaints, according to the report, focus on the working conditions in their schools: They feel like they don’t have a voice in decisions and lack autonomy in the classroom.

          Part of that lack of autonomy is the “teach to the test” culture that has set in and affected, in particular, districts with more lower income minority students who don’t often perform as well on standardized tests.

    2. Tia Will

      TBD

      The liberals push to keep these wild childs in the classroom”

      There are many ways to handle the “wild child” that do not involve violence. One brief example from my bus driver days in a sketchy area of Los Angeles when I was 23 and trying to support myself and save money for medical school.

      I was given the assignment of driving a group of about 12 black male teens from their school to their group home where they were because of behavioral problems. My first shift was the after school run. Some of them obviously saw an opportunity for some disruptive fun at the expense of the new white, female driver only a few years older than themselves. As soon as I got out onto the streets, some started jumping out of the their seats and moving around the bus, yelling, pushing each other and the like. I suppose I could have done the equivalent of calling 911 by telling dispatch that I needed police help.  Instead, I pulled over to the side of the road, informed the boys that I was keyed to dispatch, that I was paid by the hour, so the longer we sat there the more money I made.  I would drive only once everyone was in their seat and quiet. It took about 5 minutes for those who wanted to get home so they could get on with their activities to convince the trouble makers to sit down and shut up. One of the leaders then informed me politely that they were ready to go. I had no further problems during my two weeks on that route.

      1. Barack Palin

        A better analogy would be you pulled over and asked the teens to sit down but they wouldn’t listen and kept the ruckus up.  No matter how many times you asked they just kept it going not obeying your authority.  So at some point are you going to call in some authority or just sit there until the end of your shift, and then what?

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          In that situation there is an obvious problem that goes well beyond the situation. You would be better off calling in a counselor than a cop.

        2. Tia Will

          BP

          A better analogy would be you pulled over and asked the teens to sit down but they wouldn’t listen and kept the ruckus up.’

          The point is not to establish an exact analogy. The point is to demonstrate that except in the case of someone armed and with intent to harm ( and perhaps even then) there will always be another choice than to use violence. Obviously at some point, my boys would have given up. Possibly when they knew they would miss dinner, or an after school sports practice as was the motivator for one boy. Find the right motivator, and the behavior will change. What we have too often is that those in power, see power and authority and punishment as their only tools as was clearly the case here.

  16. Anon

    Scheney: “As long as the student’s body is parked in a classroom and not actively disturbing the class, there is no need to respond.

    I am sorry to sound so harsh, but as a former teacher, this statement is ignorant. If a teacher allows one student to use their smartphone, then other students will follow suit.  Rules have to be enforced consistently – they are there for a reason.

  17. Anon

    DP: “1.  would the police have been called in the first place for a white girl acting in the same way?  it’s a hard question to answer but …

    2.  would the police officer have handled the situation the same way?

    bottom line is that i think the vanguard piece points us to a problem that everyone here is ignoring and i personally experienced as a father of a mixed raced daughter here in davis and that is differential treatment in schools by race.

    How about dealing with what actually happened and not hypotheticals based on your personal biases? I am not trying to be snarky, but look at your words! Yes, racism exists – but not in every situation involving interactions between blacks and whites. If you think that, then I would argue you are being racist, and I don’t think you are.

    1. Davis Progressive

      the hypotheticals as you call them are actually critical for understanding what happened and whether the incident had a racial component.  again, given that schools history, you cannot dismiss the race element.  i agree with that racism or more likely implicit bias exists but not in every situation, but that doesn’t get to the question of whether it existed in this case. is it your position that short of the cop yelling the “n” word or having a swastika tatooed on his arm, we can never know whether it’s race-based and therefore it should not be explored?

      1. Anon

        There is absolutely no evidence of racial bias in this particular case – not a scintilla.  Imagining “implicit bias” is pure speculation and is not helpful in assessing fault.  The fact that there are black students standing up for the white officer is a pretty good indication racism was not involved here.  As others have noted, it appears this student was a royal pain in the you know what, and her fellow classmates were fed up.  Nevertheless, the officer involved clearly did not follow proper police procedure (use of excessive force) – which is THE ISSUE, IN THIS CASE.

        Go back and read carefully exactly what you said. 1. I believe the police would have called in the first place no matter the race of this student – it appears she was a chronic troublemaker. I have been a public school teacher, and I know how difficult unruly students can be. 2. This particular officer had a history of coming very close to the excessive use of force line. I don’t think the student’s ethnicity had anything to do with the way in which he treated her. It was his modus operandi.

      2. TrueBlueDevil

        Given that the pictures I have just seen in the rally supporting the officer appear to be over 50% black, and the kids even have t-shirts on that read #FreeFields and #ValleyForFields, it looks like exploration may be unneeded. On top of these telling signs of support, I’ve read that he reportedly has a black girlfriend… the new way for the police to defend against wild accusations.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          Not exactly sure what “the new way for the police to defend against wild accusations” means. Racial issues aside, I’m appalled that the students are defending the officer. His action of flipping the girl is not exactly a close call. It was dangerous and improper. Whether they liked the cop or it was the football players for whom he was an assistant coach, I don’t know, but his conduct was way out of bounds and there is no remedying that.

        2. Barack Palin

          I applaud the students for standing up for what they feel is right.  They know the situation and the history of the officer and the belligerent girl better than any outsiders who want to make a big deal out of this and make it a racial issue.  Yes, both black and white students support the officer and it’s refreshing to see them not automatically cry racism.  Maybe there is hope.

    1. Barack Palin

      Thanks Adam, it’s worth a lot, it speaks volumes.  For a group of black and white students to back the officer says to me that these other students know what a pain in the ass the belligerent student is otherwise they would be backing her.

      1. wdf1

        To be clear what Adam Smith’s post means:

        Cassibry, who participated in the protest, told The Huffington Post that while he did not agree with Fields’ conduct in the student arrest, he also did not believe the officer deserved to be fired.  source

        1. Adam Smith

          Thanks for this link WDF, I had not seen the story.  I went to the link and found these other comments  comments attributed to Cassibry:

          “I believe it is important as a student to voice my opinion,” Cassibry said. “My belief on Deputy Fields is just that — I do believe he was too aggressive, but I do not believe it was any circumstance to lose his job, nor do I believe it was race-driven.”

          Several of the students seen demonstrating in Cassibry’s video are black. Cassibry estimated that black students accounted for a majority of the protesters on Friday.

           

    2. Anon

      The students may be supporting the officer because they feel the girl “got what was coming to her”.  I am sure students were fed up with this unruly student’s antics.  Nevertheless, police officers, especially ones assigned to schools, have a specific standard they must follow in handling children.  This officer did not meet that standard – the Sheriff who is his boss said so.  In consequence, the office was justifiably fired – especially in light of his previous record of skirting the line of excessive use of force.

      1. zaqzaq

        The sheriff is covering his ass from criticism by firing the officer.  This was a training opportunity for the officer in question, the rest of the department, school administrators and teachers concerning best practices on how to deal with unruly students.  I believe had the racial makeup been different there would have been a different outcome.  Instead it became white officer and black student and placed into a larger dispute about race.  The sheriff was a coward for firing the officer so quickly.  It amazes me that this officer gets fired but the sheriff of San Francisco can be convicted of a domestic violence crime and retain his office.

        The fact that hundreds of students with a diverse racial composition staged a walk out in his support is a significant message to the public concerning how well he worked with students.  Nor do I believe the student protest message was that the student got what was coming to her.  It was more about the offer being a man that was well like and respected by the students which is what you want in a school resource officer.

        It would be nice to get a description from the officer concerning what he was trying to accomplish during the altercation.  For example it does not look like he was trying to throw her to the ground.  Instead it looked like he was trying to pull her out of the chair/desk by grabbing her around the shoulder/neck area with his right arm and her left thigh with his left arm and she resisted causing the desk to go over.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      I always thought we should have some kind of an electronic blocking device to block cell phone usage on campus, except for emergencies. They have to make life even tougher for teachers. I’ve heard stories of kids watching porn in class, not to mention the required 50 selfies a day.

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        FCC violation. Too dangerous in an emergency. There was a case where a teacher tried it, and it blocked cell signals in a huge radius, so they can’t limit it to the school site.

  18. Frankly

    It seems that a lot of these altercations are surrounding the rules for cell phones.

    A few thoughts:

    I listened to an interview of a high school teacher that won changing the policy of student cell phone restriction when he noticed that his students became less attentive and less focused.   His determination was that, for better or worse, the cell phones were an extension of the student human personal and that by having rule to separate them from the student, it was making the student feel less connected and less “in the moment”.

    Related to this, I think the crappy prehistoric woman-run education system is also to blame.  The copious rules layered on student behavior are generally to make the job of teaching easier for female teachers less well equipped and/or experienced to deal with typical male students.   Some boys are just exploding for having to sit on their hands and listen to boring lecture after boring lecture.  Girls have an easier time as they are wired differently and develop differently.

    Lastly, we are missing the opportunity to have the students use smart phones and pads in their education experience.   Think about it… in the working work most of us use these things as needed tools in our jobs.  Yet the schools say “put them away so you can pay attention!”

    Maybe one solution to help reduce the conflict in the classroom is to demand that the education system modernize and focus on what is good for the students instead of what is good for the employees of the education system.

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